Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.
Every year, my mom, sister and I watch the Macy’s Day Parade. We cook the whole morning - each family member masters a different dish. Last year, mine was apple pie. I promise it was perfect, not too sweet or tart. For the rest of the day we eat, watch Football, and spend time together.
When I was little, and my older siblings were in college, Thanksgiving was when they came home to visit. That was the best part, just being together. And now that I’m in college, I’m the one who comes in, laundry in tow, to celebrate the holiday with my family.
This year was different, of course. It was going to be difficult to be away from my family, but I was determined to make the most of it. I celebrated Thanksgiving in Rome. Unfortunately, I was sick during the school break, so I couldn’t travel with my friends. I had lunch at a nearby restaurant in pursuit of my own holiday meal. It was a three course meal - almost as ambitious as the one my family was putting together back home.
First was arancini - a fried ball of rice with meat and cheese. Second was egg fettuccini with basil, tomato and parmesan. It was everything you would hope for it to be. The noodles were wide and al dente. The sauce was flavorful, but not to the point that it hid the taste of the tomato itself. Third, and certainly most important, was a chocolate truffle. No apple pie could compete. It was not quite cake, not quite ice cream, but certainly dense and cold. The core was cherry, and the shell was covered in chocolate flakes. Sitting on top was heavy cream and a biscuit. The dish was not monotone like many American desserts can be. It had depth, a personality.
I was heartbroken when the meal was over - I never wanted to take a last bite. Afterwards, I walked the streets of Rome, thinking about how thankful I am.
I am having a hard time accepting the fact that I’ll be leaving in a few weeks. But for the rest of my life, I will associate this beautiful, magical city with my semester abroad. And I am so grateful for that. How lucky am I? I am making so many memories while here. When I come back someday, I will associate different pockets of the city with old friends, great meals, and even holiday traditions.